My Story: Simplifying Your Life
contributed by S.C.
I have been working on simplifying my life recently and thought I would pass on some information to others. Some of these things you may already know, but I have come to a point in my life where I don't have to look a certain way or wear certain clothes or jewelry just to please someone else. I just mention this because I used to be totally obsessed with appearances. Looking back, it all seems so superficial. Life really is so much simpler now and I feel so much more freedom.
- I stopped dying my hair and using nail polish. I keep my nails cut very short and can actually do real housework and type now. The hair dye was ruining my hair. I keep it somewhat short and just blow dry if I need to and touch up my bangs with a curling iron. I have also tremendously cut back on facial cosmetics. I use just a little bit of mascara, eye liner and lipstick if I can get away with it. I still use foundation on occasion, but where I live in Texas it's so humid that it just melts off.
- I cleaned out my purse, and just carry the essentials, such as cell phone, wallet, driver's license, debit card, and a small cosmetic bag with a few bare essentials in it. It is so much lighter now and my shoulder doesn't hurt anymore!
- I went through my entire house and "purged" anything I had not used in six months to a year, including appliances, clothes, bedding, dishes, VCR tapes, extra linens, towels, gardening supplies, etc. I donated everything to Goodwill and kept the receipt for tax purposes. Would you believe we had four DVD players for some reason? I donated two of them. I was somewhat ruthless, but it was so liberating. Now, my housework takes half the time it used to take. I cleaned the tops of all cabinets, end tables, and computer desks. Dusting is a breeze now. I got rid of most of my imitation plants also. They are horrible dirt magnets. My decorating might look sparse to some, but to me, it looks open and clean. I also cleaned out my car's trunk, garage, shed, and attic.
- I have kept items that are sentimental to me. For instance, a few pieces of the china and silverware that I inherited from my Mother are displayed in my curio. If I tried to display all of it, I would just be adding back to the clutter. It is important to not get too crazy while cleaning out because you don't want to lose your identity or realize something that was part of your life was gone. I just felt like I was being swallowed up by "stuff."
- I love to shop at Wal-Mart; their prices on clothing are exceptionally reasonable. It is so easy to buy a lot for little money. This is my one weakness, but in retrospect, I, at one point, had eight pairs of jeans! There was no way that I was ever going to wear them all. I recently lost 25 pounds and cringed when I needed to go down one whole size because I never wore most of the jeans or a lot of other clothes in my closet for that matter. Now, I own only neutral colors and basic items that won't go out of style. Fad or trendy clothes are not in my wardrobe any longer.
I could talk on endlessly, but if you want some great help in making a simple life a reality, check out Clutter's Last Stand: It's Time To De-junk Your Life! by Don Aslet and Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things That Really Matter by Elaine St. James. Try to simplify. It's great and you will save yourself tons of money.
Debt is preventing me from taking a vacation this year or the vacation I'd like to take this year! Tell us: Yes, debt is affecting my vacation plans! or No, we're going exactly where we want to go but we'd love to learn make our trip as inexpensive as possible!
"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money, please send it by mailto:MyStory@stretcher.com.
Discuss "Simple or frugal?" in The Dollar Stretcher Community
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor. Just Click Here and tell us what's on your mind.
More Money-Saving Tips for Families
- 5 big bills you can cut fast
- 5 frugal ways to expand your living space
- The 11 best bargains at the checkout counter in May
- 4 steps to a simpler (and more frugal) life
- Improve your sleep for less
- How to get through prom season with the budget intact
- Planning a family reunion on a shoestring
- Tween girl's birthday party ideas Readers' Solutions